Squirrel Suits Release 'The Swift' Beginner WingsuitBy Dropzone.com on 2013-11-20
Earlier this year we brought you the article Inside Squirrel Wingsuits, where we talked with Squirrel founder Matt Gerdes about the then new wingsuit manufacturing company. We discussed what set Squirrel apart from other wingsuits and where the company was aiming to go to from there. You can now find Squirrel wingsuits on a number of extremely skilled and well known flyers, and Squirrel is seemingly establishing itself as a trustworthy and reliable wingsuit company.
The latest addition to the Squirrel inventory is the Swift. The Swift is a suit that is marketed as a beginner suit for both BASE jumpers and skydivers. While it is said to be easy to fly, it is stressed that the Swift is by no means limited to beginner flying and still a competent suit for intermediate and even experienced wingsuit pilots. When developing the Swift, Squirrel wanted to bring to the table a wingsuit that would be forgiving to fly, while at the same time providing the performance needed in a BASE environment and when flocking. There is also a focus on agility and the suit is said to be great for acro, backflying and other quick maneuverability.
The Swift's inlets are catered to efficiency, with the surface area being larger than on some other beginner wingsuits. Both arm and leg wing pressure is able to be adjusted using the internal zips, doing so will ensure that you are able to manage your ride to be softer, if you are a newer pilot.
Leading edge construction is a pivotal and complicated matter in wingsuit design. While rigid structures on the arm would allow for enhanced performance, it would pose a safety risk, but at the same time an overly flexible design would cause a loss of performance. One of the key elements to developing a good wingsuit is to find the perfect balance between a rigid, high performance design and the safety that comes with the more flexible design. Squirrel suits say that they've found the right ingredients to allow the high performance, along with safety; thanks to their three-layer leading edge design. While the exterior layer is finished in Glideskin, a flexible, durable and smooth material, the middle layer is made from a static, non-flexible air-mesh material which is sized wider than the Glideskin. This stronger, more fixed middle layer ensures that the profile does not become deformed. Finally on the interior is a Lycra finish which provides a smooth surface. Only the first few centimeters of the wrist will allow for full flex, as to allow for easy BOC and brake toggle access.
Squirrel have gone with a stance and sweep that is extremely similar to their more advanced wingsuits. This will allow those who begin flying on the Swift to easy adapt and progress to some of the more advanced Squirrel suits. Should you begin jumping with a Swift and then later move on to the Colugo, you'll find the transition easier due to a familiarity. Likewise if you had to move from the Colugo to the Aura.
The Swift has taken its profile from the advanced Squirrel suit, the Aura; with adaptions made to the Swift's lower surface area and shorter chord. Squirrel say that the thickness of the Swift is similar to that of the Colugo, and was chosen because of the focus on stable trim flight.
There is a focus that all performance enhancing features in a wingsuit should be standard. The aim from the company is to bring you excellent performance and features included in the price of the suit. All Squirrel suits include: Foam padded foot cavities, internal pressure-zips, nut-sack storage compartment, chest pocket / belly-cam access, mylar reinforced leading edge and rubber BASE soles.
"Keep it Simple and Safe" has been the mantra for Squirrel and with easy BOC and brake toggle access being a focus in reliable deployments, the suit has been designed to allow for just that. Cutaways are totally unnecessary, says Squirrel, pointing out the extremely easy BOC access and ease of access for the brake toggles, in any situation. The Swift has been designed to bring the flyer the excellent performance while never compromising on safety.
Force Feed - A 3D reinforced inlet with maximum intake to drag ratio. Developed as a primary safety feature.
Innie-Outie (BASE Mode / Skydive Mode) - This feature allows you to easily change between BASE or skydiving mode. In BASE mode the harness will be located on the inside of the chest compartment, for reduced drag and optimum glide; this is enhanced by the zips being completely closed. In skydiving mode the handles are completely exposed at the chest, allowing for easy access and an increase in safety.
RAD (Rapid Arm Deployment) - A simple arced cut at the wrist allows for increased ease in the reaching of the pilot chute and toggles. A small, yet highly effective feature.
Get Stiffie - A Mylar-reinforced bottom surface on the leading edge ensures that the profile structure is maintained, as well as providing efficient feeding to the inlets.
Get Stretchy - In BASE mode, the flexibility of the panels near the shoulder relieve stress on the suit during openings. Bar-tacks in areas also help prevent seam failure.
Light Ribs - Porcher Sport Skytex ensures that the suit is light and durable, while at the same time being more stable than mesh. This helps in reducing weight and pack volume.
Glideskin - This flexible and durable material is used on all Squirrel suits and is used on the leading edge, where it is able to provide a stable profile while at the same time allowing for flexibility at the wrist area.
Airtight Construction - All Squirrel suits are tested thoroughly for airtight symmetry in order to ensure the highest build quality possible.
Super Sexy Zippers - While safety and performance are at the top of the list, the Swift is also a good looking suit. The suit uses custom ordered YKK #10 Coil zips. You will have the ability to choose between five colors of zips when ordering your suit.
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